A litle while ago, one of our friends was supervising a group of kids heading to Cadbury World, and he came back just as excited as they were. He spent about an hour singing its praises, and it was enough to convince me that Lex and I should go too. Now, normally Lex and I are terrible at planning anything in advance. We'll agree to an idea that sounds good, but at the same time we are agreeing, we're also adding an extra clause that requires leaving a period of six months or so for us to get around to doing something about it. Having a good idea and planning it the same weekend are usually rarely accomplished without extensive insistence.
It's a good job I can be insistent when I need to be then, isn't it?
- A short introduction for our international friends who haven't heard of Cadbury. Cadbury's is a brand international brand of chocolate and the company was one of the first in England to start using milk in their chocolate bars to give it a better taste. Basically, Dairy Milk chocolate bars are gorgeous, and if I have to include spirals as a background for this post in order to get you to try one, I will, dammit!
And if Cadbury would like to send me some freebies for that little advertisement, I certainly wouldn't argue! -
So anyway, at the weekend I managed to persuade Lex to book some tickets for Cadbury World, and after taking a tour around the *incredibly* shiny site (seriously, go and have a play at www.cadbury.co.uk) my excitement had sufficiently regressed me to about the age of 9. It was awesome!
Aside from getting up at stupid o'clock in order to get down to Brummy-land (Birmingham for those of you in the States), the drive down wasn't bad, and I even managed to refrain from getting Lex to just put me to sleep for the whole ride. As we got in, we didn't let the hordes of youngsters deter us: our mental ages could match theirs any day! I'm only sad I didn't get to enter into the colouring competition; I'd have loved to do some amazing piece of artwork and then write my name in my other hand, signing it “Lis, aGeb 7”.
As we went around the Factory, the freebies started coming in waves, and we ended up getting chocolate from just about every Cadbury employee we came across. Most of the tour is away from the actual production line, but near the end of the journey, I got the shock of my life. As you enter the factory, you're asked not to bring cameras in, for copyrights sake or whatever. I didn't have a problem with that of course, I just wanted to see more of the factory.
We rounded a corner, seeing all the machinery churning the melted chocolate (drool...), and the process of packaging. There were a large group of people crowded around several desks where there were various chocolate-related activities being held. You know, things like writing your name in melted chocolate (which of course, I was *far* to mature to try...), trying to beat one of their representatives at 'picking up' melted chocolate with a spatula, watching how the chocolate shapes are made and packaged. That kind of thing.
I rounded a corner, watching the visitors crowd around the desks, and then I spotted one of the employees. I don't wish to be offensive, but when I spotted that the Cadbury employee was the modern day equivalent of an Oompa-loompa (less of the orange make-up, more of the white jackets and hairnets), I had to conceal a smile. When I looked across to the next stall, and saw that there were two...and then three...my mouth dropped. Every employee I saw was the same - it was like the real Wonka's Chocolate Factory!
I reached for my camera phone, vowing to take a picture to show the folks back home, but Lex grabbed my arm.
"No cameras." He said, pointing to the sign above my head.
"But..But I *can't* just walk out without taking a *picture*! I mean come *on*! It's like Wonka's in here!"
"But no-one will believe me unless I get photographic evidence!"
I couldn't get the camera out because of the signs, but then I realised something. *They* were the reason they didn't want you to use cameras! They didn't want to reveal to the world that an operation like Wonka's actually existed! I was convinced I'd seen through their plot, and although I had several attempts to sneak a picture of one of them, Lex wouldn't let me.
I protested about it (at length) to him, and after a few minutes, he just looked at me with a bemused expression.
"What are you talking about?"
"The," I lowered my voice. "Vertically challenged staff here."
I turned over my shoulder, pointing at the staff, and started to repeat my last sentence, when I realised the employee I was pointing to was about 6ft. I looked around, trying to find them again, and couldn't see a single one in the entire room. I was incredulous. Where could they have gone to? They were right here!
You know, you'd think after being a subject for so long under a twisted mind like Lex's, I'd be less naive at times like this. It eventually twigged in my mind, and I shot a *very* annoyed look at Lex as my cheeks flushed bright red.
"It was *you* wasn't it!?" I demanded.
"Me? What could I have done?" he said with a mischevious smile, as he turned to walk away.
Can anyone really blame me for the expletives I may or may not have used as I went to catch up with him? The knowledge that one of the movies from my childhood could actually have a grain of truth to it is dangled in front of my face, and then my frantic reactions are made to look absolutely ridiculous as they are taken away. I can't even begin to *think* what some of the visitors were thinking as I tried several times to get my camera out.
Oh, and if you were wondering. For my first picture on this blog, I thought I'd include the one I took of writing my name in chocolate...
I *am* mature, alright!